In 1991, Andreea had already finished school. The Ceauşescu regime had fallen and there was great confusion in Romania. Most of all, there was no work. She attended high school and she also learned Italian. Her mother chose the best for her and managed to bring up a strong, mature and intelligent woman who, despite the uncommon difficulties for those who have the privilege of living in their own country, managed to realize the dream that she had been chasing since she was a child.
Slovenia was one of the first stops. The first time away from home everything was unusual to her but she was quite happy. However, her desire remained to reach the “Bel Paese”.
It was difficult to reach Italy.
After Slovenia, Greece and Albania, she lived in several Italian cities and she always found a job thanks to her knowledge of Italian language. She lived in Milan, Civitavecchia, Ancona, Genoa, Savona … Then she stopped in Napoli.
NAP – What do you miss about your hometown? –
AY – Everything. I miss food, I miss family, our traditions, my people. I am very attached to my family, although here I found a man who loves me and who wants my good and my happiness. If I could feel good in my country I would go back even if I love Napoli and I found love here. –
NAP – Do you compare yourself with your fellow Romanian in Italy? What do they tell you? –
AY – In Italy there are many Romanians. I have been in Italy for 26 years and most of the Romanian girls I met here work to send money to our country. Everyone I know here says they are fine in Italy. –
NAP – How about you? After all these years in Italy as an immigrant what can you tell us? –
AY – I won’t talk about politics because I’ve had enough in my country. The government should change here as it should change in Romania, which is more ruined than Italy. In my country there is no food to put on the table, the boys leave, many girls end up very bad … Since I was born Romania has always been like this. When I see emigrants on the street, I suffer a lot. I would prefer everyone to be free to stay in their own country because if you go elsewhere you will always find someone who is racist or who has some prejudice towards you. I would like to say another thing also. We don’t like to emigrate. Perhaps no one likes it because, believe me, emigrating is not a pleasure trip, it is not a vacation. If everyone could live well in his own country no one would be forced to emigrate. –
Andreea was in Greece for nine months and everything was fine. Then the police began to harass her and her fellow villagers to bring them back to Romania. So in order not to go back to the hell in their country, they left to reach Albania, on foot. Each of them paid a million old lire to go to Italy with a rubber dinghy.
NAP – How did you manage to enter in Italy? –
AY – From Albania we left with the dinghy to reach Brindisi. At one point, in the middle of the night, the pilot of the boat ordered everyone to dive into the water to avoid Finance Police. I can not swim. It was night and the water was cold, but the fear of being taken and sent home gave me courage to dive. Fortunately, together with my companions, I immediately reached the shore. We hid all night in an abandoned house not far from the beach. The next morning a girl went to the town to look for a taxi but she was stopped by the police who came to pick us up in the shelter. –
NAP – How were you treated by the police? –
AY -We were a group that planned to escape Romania together. The policemen took us to the police station and questioned us. They were kind. They made us eat, they treated us well. The policeman found me two passports (I had my passport from Romania and an Albanian passport) and he asked me “Are you Romanian or Albanian?” Since I also speak a little Albanian, I replied “Albanian.” not to be sent back to Romania. If I had returned to Romania I would no longer be able to escape. Fortunately, after several attempts, I managed to stay alive first and then to enter Italy and in the last attempt from Brindisi I reached Napoli. This time, instead by walking, I did it by bus. –
NAP – Did the hospitality of Italians, as an immigrant, met or disappointed your expectations? –
AY – In Italy I was almost always treated well and I always found a job.Even though it was in Napoli that I was offered to make money quickly through illegal things as well as selling drugs. This does not interest me and I continued on my way.Then after three years living in Napoli I met my husband. I love Napoli but, unfortunately, it suffers from so much crime, civilization and indifference. –
NAP – You have lived in many Italian cities. Which one struck you most and why? –
AY – I liked Genova because it looks a lot like Napoli. –